Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Africa Update #2

First off, I want to apologize to all those who have asked me to post on here. I am sorry I have not been very good about it. Sadly, my computer seems to have broken down. That being said, I now have to type all this out on my phone.
Africa! Wow. Where do I start?!
Victoria and I have nearly finished up our sponsorship program cards. Now we can take the info and pictures back to America and have people sponsor these adorable kids. The process of making these did not turn out to be easy. First of all, the organization was not very good. Even some of the birthdays did not match the kids' ages. Second, my computer did not save my work correctly and then just stopped working altogether. So, we had to start all over. Next, the pictures all got lost. So we ended up retaking those only to find out someone had found the memory card with all the pictures on it right after we finished retaking them. That was amusing. But after all that, we are nearly done. We just have to organize and add a few more kids and make sure all the info lines up, including the birthdays and ages.
This trip has come with a lot of down time. Neither Victoria or I expected that which means we didn't come very prepared. Thankfully, I got a SIM card for my phone so now I have Internet wherever I go. This way I can stay connected and download books to read to keep me occupied on the down times. Unfortunately, Victoria doesn't have the same luxury.
Victoria has started trying to learn how to cook some of the common dishes here. She seems to be enjoying that. She even started helping me wash the laundry.
I started teaching first and second grade reading at the school this week. I was not able to go today because I got a flu bug. Victoria also has been sick. It doesn't seem to be anything serious. It has just been a little inconvenient.
For the most part, I feel like I have adjusted to the food (minus the meat), the showering and restroom, the mosquito nets, laundry methods, etc.
Uganda is a very beautiful place. It is very green here. And just gorgeous. It is overcast almost everyday which is kind of good because when the sun is out it gets very hot! The humidity isn't as bad as I expected thankfully.
The people.... The people are beautiful. The kids are precious. So full of joy and love.
I find Uganda to be a very beautiful place. Yes, for the reasons I mentioned above but also for another reason. This morning, while eating breakfast, I was thinking about how I love Uganda kind of like I love TJ, Mexico. Granted- Uganda is way prettier from what I've seen. But I realized that I love the poverty. Okay, that probably sounds a little crazy. But I love the way of life poverty brings. It is so simple. And the people are so grateful for the little things. So, in a way, I have fallen in love with the poverty of Uganda, Africa.
Now for the more personal stuff..... God has been working in my heart. My heart is so stubborn and hard.... So He has been and will have to continue to do a lot of softening with it. In my life, I continually struggle with doubts, the biggest we being- Is God real? I am ashamed to even admit this. Recently, I have been doubting so much. I feel like I should be past this. Like, I've been raised in a Christian home, I made a commitment to the Lord, and I love Him. I love Him so much. So why do I doubt? Anyways, on this trip, the last few days I have been really trying to journal my prayers and to read my Bible and journal about it every day. This kind of helps to keep me accountable.
Please keep Victoria and I in your prayers. We have less than two weeks left here before we head to Europe for a week. Please pray that the Lord would continue to work in both of ours hearts. Please also pray that we would be a blessing to everyone we come in contact with. And lastly, please pray for our health! Please pray we will get over this cold quickly so we can get back to work. ;)
Thank you all so much!!


Friday, July 29, 2016

Uganda Thus Far!

​Hello from Uganda!
I am sorry I have not updated this blog earlier... But here I am! Now, where to start.....
Victoria and I arrived in Entebe, Uganda, Wednesday, the 20th, at night after nearly 30 hours of traveling. After being picked up, we proceeded to drive to Kampala (the capital of Uganda) to spend the night in a hotel. It was about an hour drive. In Kampala, we met up with an American pastor we had met back in the states as well as one of his team members. The next day was spent driving around Kampala, drinking coffee at an amazing coffee shop, exchanging currency, and eating pizza. Not too bad, huh? ;-) They gave us ketchup for our pizza which I found amusing... From Kampala, Rukungiri (the town we are staying in) is an 8 hour drive. Thankfully, I was able to catch up on some sleep
during the car ride. 
Rukungiri is much bigger than I originally thought. Like a lot bigger! It's not some small village... It is a pretty large district actually. Victoria and I are staying with Onesemus and Betty. Onesemus is a pastor at God's Embassy church. We met him through our church when he came to the states to go to Seminary. His wife is very sweet and a lovely person. They have three kids. Benny is 8. Boss is 7. And Pem is 2. The older two were so excited to have us. Pem is a little shyer, but still adorable and sweet. ;-)
In Rukungiri, they eat a lot of plantains. They are pretty much green looking bananas. They do not have much taste. They also have some corn stuff which is white and also pretty tasteless. But other than those two things, everything else is pretty flavorful. They have so much starch in their diet including potatoes and beans with rice. At the hotel we often eat at, they serve lots of chips and chapati. Chips are like fries and really good. Chapati is like a doughy tortilla. So good! They have a drink in the morning called Chai. Now, this is not like our American Chai. It is made with boiled milk and water and the African tea leaves. They call the tea leaves green tea, but I think it is more of our black tea in America. Not positive on that though... Breakfast is a very light meal. Usually just Chai with some bread. On Sundays, we do eat a heavier breakfast due to the fact that church gets out after noon so we will have lunch a little later.
Everyone here will stare at us because we are different looking. The kids all want to grab our hands and rub our arms. I don't think I've ever been this popular. Victoria took pictures with each of the kids at the school. I am now working on putting the photos on a sponsorship card so that when we get back to the U.S. we can find sponsors for the kids. All the kids are so adorable. I may start teaching English at the school as well. 
Another thing we have been doing is house visits. We will walk around and visit church members' houses. Yesterday, the mother of the lady we were there visiting got saved! Praise the Lord! Part of the American pastor's team have been coming as well and sharing the gospel as well as their own testimonies. We have heard the villagers testimonies as well. Some of them are really crazy and powerful. We spoke to one man who had been stabbed three times and everyone thought he was dead. And his wife used to be tormented by evil spirits and even possessed by them. I know all this sounds crazy, and it is. Over here, you hear about that stuff a lot. In America, it doesn't seem to be a problem, but here... almost everyone talks about it.
Where I am staying, we take bucket showers. I boil water, mix it with cold water to make it warm, and put a cup in it. I use the cup to shower with. It actually hasn't been too bad. It's kinda fun unless you're exhausted and still need to shower... ;-) Even the nicer toilet in the house is missing the top part... I think it is funny because back in the states, everyone makes a big deal about putting the toilet seat down... But here, there isn't one to put down.
I would continue all of your prayers as I try to figure out how to stay busy. I have been feeling discouraged and a little homesick. Most days, there is not too much to do so it is a lot of sitting around and being bored. Please pray that I find something to keep me occupied. Also, please pray that Victoria and I continue to stay healthy and don't get bit by any bugs. So far, I only have one bite and I don't think Victoria has gotten one. Thank the Lord for bug spray! Today, Victoria had a bad headache, but I think it is something that happens sometimes back at home as well. This past Monday, I wasn't not feeling very well, but after spending the day sleeping/resting, I felt much better. I am very thankful that we have not gotten any sicker than that!
Thank you all so much for your prayers, thoughts, and support! <3 :-)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Africa Here I Come!

I will soon be leaving for Africa (like this Tuesday to be exact)! I am still getting a few last minute things done. I will be trying to post on here while I am gone. We will see how that goes. If you wish to contact me, you can try my Instagram (bekahboo1315), WhatsApp (my cell number), or Snapchat. I am planning to use Whatsapp a lot, but I am not sure what the cell service will be like over there. 
I would really appreciate everyone's prayers...
I am going to be away from home for 6 weeks (42 days to be exact), 5 of which will be in a third world country. I have only been out of the country to Mexico and Canada, so this is a huge deal to me... I have also never been away from home for more than about a week. Please pray that I (and my sister Victoria who is coming as well) will adjust well and be a blessing to all those around me. 
The 6th week will be spent in Germany and maybe a couple other European countries. That should be really fun and I am really looking forward to that as well! 
Thank you for your prayers and support!
Bekah Grace

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

My Senior Year

“A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.” – Max Lucado

This year has flown by so fast!

In September, I bought my first car. A white Prius. Allll my friends love making fun of the fact that I own a Prius. So far it has been a great, reliable car and I am getting great gas mileage! I also started up my first official college class (on an actual campus ;-P). Spanish I was fun...

In November, I started working at La Vida Real, a retirement home. I learned to waitress in the dining room. It was a great experience since it was 5-star certified dining. It was easier to develop relationships with the people I served since I saw them 5 days a week. It was one of the hardest but best things I have done work wise.
I was also working at a small Italian restaurant and trying to do Awana as well making every night of my week full. This ended up being exhausting. I was working nearly full time while trying to have a social life and college classes and senior stuff all in one. It was crazy...

This semester, I took an introduction to business class online and continued with Spanish II. Spanish this semester has been a much better experience. I ended up quitting the Italian restaurant job which gave me one much-needed night off. Thankfully, my school load has been decently light. I finished Awana and received my citation. I also took a leave of absence from La Vida Real this month (May). This way I can enjoy the rest of my senior year and travel this summer (more on that later).

So that summarizes the past 9ish months....

Sadly, this year has not shown as much of a growth in my relationship with the Lord has I would have hoped. The quote I posted at the top is my senior quote for the yearbook. That is my desire. My desire is to be so completely surrendered to the Lord and walking in His ways while trusting Him to work out all my desires. I do not believe I am ready to be in a relationship with a young man yet because my relationship with the Lord is not in a strong, mature place. I hope by the end of this summer, I will be closer to Him and fully trusting in Him for everything in my life.

Thank you for reading. :-)


And... I'm back!

Wow... I was looking at my last post and realized it has been so long since I have posted on this blog... I have been busy! Since my life may be slowing down just a little for the time being, I will try to be posting a little more often. :-)

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Sometimes life throws us curveballs... Or we throw them for ourselves.
Ever since I was about 7 years old, I wanted to be a doctor/nurse. For ten whole years, that was my plan.
Fast fact about me- I love foundation. Solid things. Things that don't change. I like seeing the future clearly. So, when nursing finally wasn't setting right with me, I hesitated. I didn't want to swipe my slate clean and just up and "change my major". Plus, everyone knew I wanted to be a nurse. Everyone knew I was going to medical school. It began to feel like a burden. I wrestled with it. I didn't want to give it up even though it was causing me stress and frustration. Then, one day I had a little peace about the idea of giving it up. This caused my vision to blur. If not nursing, than what?
Then I got the phone call. This young man called me to ask me some questions and try to see if I wanted to join the program he worked for. He asked me what I wanted to study. I opened up and said my vision was really blurred. He said that could be a good thing. He asked me questions that made it clear to me that I was not meant to be a nurse. So... I changed my major. I knew I needed to work with people. I needed to help people. He recommended a major in Leadership and Management and a minor/major in Counseling. Wow... So very different from nursing. But it sat well with me...
Now, am I 100% sure that I am going to major in Leadership and Management and minor/major in Counseling? No! But I believe God has shut one door and opened another. Now, I don't have to go away to school like I was planning to. I can live at home and go to school online and graduate at the college of my choice faster, on my own schedule, and cheaper while working as much as I want. I am very thankful to God for opening my heart to other possibilities.

Now, I was also in a "relationship". Not officially or anything... But we both knew we really liked each other, and we wanted to court. He was even planning to ask my dad to court me this past June. It was nice being able to "see the future" in that area of my life. But then it happened..... I took this guy on the roller coaster of my changing feelings. I didn't want to keep dragging him on that. The end goal wasn't sitting right with me. Maybe he wasn't really the guy for me... So I let him go. Yes, I hurt him. A lot. But I only did what I did to avoid him future pain and to allow him to move on with his life. That was and still is one of the most painful things I have ever done.

There you have it. Two of the biggest things I thought were set for my life changed in a short period. So now I "don't have the guy". And maybe I don't have the major set either..
But that's okay, because I do not need to be in control of it. God does. And if He is in control, it does not matter if I can see the future clearly or not. Right now, He has me right where He wants me.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Aim Leadership Conference 2015

I just got home from a leadership conference with Aim. A few of us from the team in California went to join others up in Wyoming. Here is a little of what I learned.. We will also post more on our team website. Please check out the blog on our website. You can find our website HERE.

      Oftentimes, God takes something small and seemingly insignificant and turns it into something hugely important. I did not really have expectations going for this trip. Sure, I was looking forward to taking some time off of "real" life and going to spend time with some pretty awesome people, but honestly, I wasn't really expecting anything great, anything significant. Thankfully, God has other plans. I would not even say He greatly used the group devotions and sessions to work in me. He used something outside of those things to work.
      Let me be honest, I feel like one of those Christians that is a half-fake. Sure, I'm saved, love Jesus, and want to serve Him. But in the here and now, I am not very dedicated to Him.
I am not very dedicated to Him.
I do not love Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.
I do not keep up with my daily devotions and prayer times.
I do not find myself even really growing in my faith.
Honestly, I feel like I am kind of in a scary spot. Yet, knowing all this, my heart was hard. Again, I found myself in dire need of full surrender. The same place I found myself back at the 2013 Leadership Conference.
      The first morning in Wyoming, Brooke, Katie, and I woke up early and went outside for devotions. I had not done that in, well, way too long. I started out reading one of my favorite Bible passages. Then I "forced" myself to journal. All of a sudden, a plea/prayer to God came out. It touched me and softened my heart. Yes, I still have a long way to go before full surrender again, but God was able to start the work in my heart this week through something as small as journaling. He spoke to me through the journaling in such a powerful way.

"Lord, lead me to the place where all I want is you... Where I love You more than myself, my needs, my friends... Lead me to the place of surrender yet again... Help me to be able to stand with arms lifted up fully Yours again... Please lead me to that place... The place of peace and rest..."